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How Technology is Changing the Practice of Law

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These are slides from the PLI TechLaw Institute 2016: The Digital Evolution. This panel was held on March 10, 2016 in San Francisco. The panel included Ron Dolin, Matthew P. Kesner, Philip Blum, and Curtis A. Meltzer.

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How Technology is Changing the Practice of Law

  1. 1. How technology is changing the practice of law Analytics & Big Data & Project Management eDiscovery Management of Outside Counsel Communications & Transparency Data Security PLI TechLaw Institute 2016: The Digital Evolution Panel: Ron Dolin,Panel: Ron Dolin, Matthew P. Kesner, Philip Blum, and Curtis A. Meltzer March 10, 2016March 10, 2016
  2. 2. “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” --William Gibson Lauded Sci-Fi Author Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  3. 3. How Gibson’s Quote Applies to You “Technology changing the practice of law is generally not coming from those practicing law.” --Your Panel Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  4. 4. Susskind Is Not A 4-Letter Word -No Practice Areas Are Impervious -When, not If -Innovation Enhances And Amplifies Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  5. 5. Drivers of Change • Technology Drivers – Increased digitization (of everything) – Mobile devices and anywhere access – Collaborative technologies and social networking – Cloud computing, Saas, IaaS and PaaS – Advanced analytics (and synthesis) capabilities • Legal Drivers – Courts have embraced e-Discovery and analytics – Increased reliance on data to resolve disputes Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  6. 6. Drivers of Change (cont'd) • People Drivers – Client Demands for efficiency and collaboration – Tech savvy attorneys and clients – Traditional model is almost always unacceptable Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  7. 7. Day to Day Impact • Informatics (Analytics, Prediction, Synthesis) • Project Management; Process Re-engineering • The Inevitable Move Toward Efficiency • Automation: E-Discovery and TAR • Management of Outside Counsel, Departments • New Forms of Communications, Collaboration • Increased Transparency • Data Security and Client Information • New New Things Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  8. 8. Informatics • Data Gathering, Especially Clients – Billing Codes – Practice Areas – Quality, Responsiveness, Outcomes • Analytics (e.g. corpi) • Prediction and AI: – Machine Learning (Scoring Functions) – Expert Systems • Synthesis Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  9. 9. Big Data: Analytics, Prediction • Rise of volume & complexity of data • Role of Lex Machina • Client Budgets & Metrics – >50% of budgets to non-traditional providers – Comparing lawyers • Client Satisfaction and Data-Driven Decision-making • Use of Big Data beyond e-discovery Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  10. 10. Project Management • Clients Expect Now or Very Soon – Even if they don't know they do – Inherent in AFAs • Appropriate Team Structure and Staff – Biggest PM challenge at many firms • Seems to vary by firm, practice and even the team • Appropriate Tools • Appropriate Business Model • Appropriate Attitude Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  11. 11. Project Management • Clients need and want predictability (or at least predictable uncertainty) • Role of Checklists that do something • PM tools--shared Agile or Kanban Boards Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  12. 12. Efficiency: Processes Flow Like Water Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  13. 13. Automation: E-Discovery & Predictive Coding • Vendors do more than just host and firms do more than just practice law—define client expectations • Maybe not “Big Data”…but reasonably large data • Sampling, QC, and comparing counsel are all legit uses today • Google-like expectations still not met at large law firms – Experiments at Axiom, Riverview, SEAL and eBrevia • What if you have a better collection of client’s data than the client has? Predictive coding technology is proven and availableCopyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  14. 14. Management of Outside Counsel • Costs, costs, and costs – Standardized Billing Codes (e.g. UTBMS), E-billing systems & e-budgets fed directly to finance dept. – Budget Estimates with Accountability – “UCR” equivalent – Ability to compare law firms as “vendors” – AFA's: OC as Black Box Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  15. 15. OC: Proportionality • Choosing Counsel – Analytics services: (Ex: Sky Analytics) • What you charge • % you discount • win/loss % • client satisfaction numbers – Online reviews of 200,000+ lawyers=Avvo • Standard Quality Metrics, Outcome Correlations – What Do You Want To Be Judged By? Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  16. 16. OC: Unbundled Services • OC limited engagement • Consumer style expectations • Documents increasingly commodity • Client specific automation Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  17. 17. Management of Law Departments • Some in-house legal treated like other depts. – Asked to prove ROI—reduce costs, increase output, improve quality • Easy to get this info from you? Easier to get from non-traditional vendor? • Better, Cheaper, and Faster • In-house use of technology for everything Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  18. 18. Communications, Collaboration • Virtual interactions: More Skype and less conference room bagels • Instant Communications – Clients accustomed to immediate responses—but know when to say when – Billion dollar question in a 30 second call • Collaboration technologies: data rooms, shared platforms and work spaces connected to knowledge management tools… Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  19. 19. Communications, collaboration • Email—our preferred tool – Like democracy, email is a terrible tool, it is just better than everything else…until now. • Email lacks easy-to-find context • Efficient work groups outside law don’t use email • New Tools Example: Slack – Mixes instant messaging, topical conversations and KM – But workable for attorneys? Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  20. 20. Transparency • Transparency – Why does your client have more knowledge about a $20 book purchase than her $200M matter with you? – It is beyond time that our entire timekeeping and billing process is online with client access – Ultimately, clients don't care about your cost, they care about their cost. Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  21. 21. Data Security & Client Information • With advent of nation-state hacking, it may be impossible to use computers and keep client confidences • What we can do: – Encrypt all data at rest and data in transit – Don’t make it easy—use VPN or MiFi outside office – Phishing is #1 risk—understand it – Security awareness training – Cloud service SLA's matter Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner
  22. 22. New New Things • Competitors • Markets (e.g. API's) • Training (tech, PM, design, etc.) • Business Structures • Attitudes Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Dolin and Matthew P. Kesner

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